Chronically Grateful Day 17: What Major Lesson Have You Learned From Living With a Chronic Condition?

 
After close to 10 years of dealing with my chronic and exertion headaches, I have learned that I truly can do anything but not everything. I’ve pushed through terrible headaches during fastpitch tournaments in the blazing heat 🔥, hiking miles up and down a mountain🏔, working a full time job💻, and smiling when it seemed impossible. After all that, I know I can do anything.

However, after having to quit playing the game I loved, skipping the group hiking trips, calling in sick to work sometimes, and often missing out on some of the adventures and activities my friends have planned, I know that I can’t do everything. I’ve learned to prioritize my health so that I don’t push myself when I know it would only lead me to feel even worse. I’ve learned that my headaches come during times I find inconvenient and disappointing, but I know that when its all said and done, I need to look after my health before all else ☝🏼️. It was a lesson learned after much stubbornness and denial, but it’s one my body thanks me for now. 

Chronically Grateful Day 23: What Time Are You Living In? The Past, Present, or Future?

  
Honestly, I live in all three. As a spoonie, it’s realistically hard not to. I live in the past sometimes because I think of how my life used to be when not all of my actions and days were dictated by my headaches. I live in the future because I wonder and worry about when I will see any answers and feel any relief. But I try my best to live in the present. To take every day as it comes, managing my pain day by day. Trying to be grateful for the little things in each day. It’s hard to live in the present when all you want is to feel like you did in the past and when all you can do is worry about the future. But try your best to live in the present and make it beautiful, because you deserve a beautiful now. 🌸

Chronically Grateful Day 17: What Major Lesson Have You Learned From Living With a Chronic Condition?

 
After close to 10 years of dealing with my chronic and exertion headaches, I have learned that I truly can do anything but not everything. I’ve pushed through terrible headaches during fastpitch tournaments in the blazing heat 🔥, hiking miles up and down a mountain🏔, working a full time job💻, and smiling when it seemed impossible. After all that, I know I can do anything.

However, after having to quit playing the game I loved, skipping the group hiking trips, calling in sick to work sometimes, and often missing out on some of the adventures and activities my friends have planned, I know that I can’t do everything. I’ve learned to prioritize my health so that I don’t push myself when I know it would only lead me to feel even worse. I’ve learned that my headaches come during times I find inconvenient and disappointing, but I know that when its all said and done, I need to look after my health before all else ☝🏼️. It was a lesson learned after much stubbornness and denial, but it’s one my body thanks me for now. 

Chronically Grateful Day 16: How Do You Turn To a Positive Place When You’re Having a Bad Day?

All too often we can find ourselves in bad places. Throughout my journey I’ve seen numerous days of endless head pain, emotional distress and mental worry. It’s hard to get yourself to turn your frown upside down 🙃 when you are in these kinds of moods. However, I try to remind myself that while a good cry every once in a while is warranted and good for the soul, no good will come from sitting around sulking all day long. ☝🏼️ I find reaching out to a few good friends to make me laugh always gets me smiling. I like watching my go to comedies (aka Friends and The Office) because those are guaranteed to lighten my mood and make me laugh no matter how many times I’ve seen the same episodes. Also, I’ve found ice cream and pizza work wonders. 😊🍕🍦

Chronically Grateful Day 12: What Is A Fear You’ve Conquered Despite Your Chronic Condition?


Having to always cancel plans, be left out of activities, know that you can’t do some of the things most people can, and always having to explain yourself, it’s easy to become worried about what others think of you. I wonder what they think when I try to explain why I can’t go on the hiking trip with everyone (for example) because my head will start hurting just five minutes in and the rest of the time will be like a living migraine filled nightmare for me. I used to fear people would think I was just making excuses or something. I’d fear that they would judge me for what I couldn’t do, and not for what I can do: which is fight a debilitating battle against head pain. There have been multiple instances where people don’t understand the severity of it and will say something like “oh come on! Don’t be a baby!” In which case I try my best not to get upset and defensive, knowing some people wouldn’t last an hour with a migraine while hiking 7 miles up and down a mountain (and from experience I know it feels like you would rather pluck your head off than continue hiking)

I’ve gotten over that fear though, because I know I don’t need to explain myself to everyone. The people who are close to me understand and don’t need an explanation anymore. The people who are close to us won’t demand an explanation. I also know that everyone has their own battles. Why should I judge them when I don’t know what they’re possibly going through? The saying “you can’t really understand a persons experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” couldn’t be more true.

If you get over the fear of what people think of you, you will do so much more in your life and feel so much more comfortable and confident 🙌🏼✌🏼️

Chronically Grateful Day 10: What is Something You’ve Done That You Might Not Have Otherwise Done Without Your Chronic Illness/Disorder/Pain?

Simple answer: this blog. 

I would have never started writing this blog had I not been going through this journey. I’m grateful to be writing again, and so often at that, because it’s an emotional release and a creative outlet for me. One that I had a hard time keeping up with in the past. Now though, it’s become part of my daily/weekly routine and I love it. I’m not always able to write about positive results or about getting answers to my headaches, but at least I am able to find positivity and relief from writing about it.

Since I’ve started my blog and my Instagram account (@theheadacheheroine) I’ve connected with some truly inspirational and strong people. I’m motivated by others to keep fighting for myself. Before I started this blog and that Instagram, I felt very alone in this medical journey of mine. Now I know that I’m nowhere near alone. 

Chronically Grateful Day 9: What Are You Most Grateful For About Yourself?

  
Being positive about yourself is never a bad thing, so be proud of who you are! ☝🏼️Despite the past 10 yrs (or so) of dealing with these headaches, I still have a lot to be grateful for. I’m compassionate, kind and goofy 😁I’m resilient and strong💪🏼. I dance wildly in front of crowds and don’t care what people think💃🏼I smile even when it seems impossible. It may come across as boastful, but really I’m just grateful for how I’m able to stay myself throughout this crazy ride. 💖

Chronically Grateful Day 4: What’s The Best Thing That’s Happened To Me Since My Headaches Began 

While I’m still searching for my exact diagnosis (my headaches have just been labeled as chronic daily headaches and new daily persistent headaches, with frequent migraine until they solidify a diagnosis) I’ve had these headaches since I was a kid. So long that I forget the feeling of what it’s like to not have a headache. I can’t remember the very day my headaches started but I can remember all of the good things that have happened to me in the past years of my disorder: I’ve become a much more open, loving and compassionate person ❤️I’ve graduated from Virginia Tech and landed a great job 🙋🏼💼I’ve also learned how to see beauty in the small things and that even though the day might not be good, there is still good to be found in the day. 🌻

Chronically Grateful November Challenge: Day 1–What Does Gratefulness Mean To You?

I’ve been pretty active on Instagram for this blog (@theheadacheheroine) and I saw a challenge for people living with chronic pain, disorders and/or illnesses. It’s for the month of November and the first day is about what gratefulness means to you, individually.

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To me, gratefulness means having the right perspective in order to see all of the blessings I’m surrounded by. I have a roof over my head, a loving family and devoted friends. I have a job (that I’ll be starting tomorrow!! eek!) and even though my health isn’t 100%, I have access to doctors and health facilities.

I think it means that even at our worst, we are able to see the good around us and making the effort to take that positivity to build ourselves back up.

This weekend I am grateful for the fun times I was able to share with family and friends. I have been having relentlessly bad headaches all week so I was worried I wouldn’t feel good enough to celebrate Halloween with my friends. Luckily, I didn’t feel terrible so I knocked Halloween out of the park (with the help of my awesome, cooperative bf) by being Lucille Ball from I Love Lucy

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Tell me I didn’t do an awesome job, I dare you!

I’m grateful for being able to enjoy myself (and maybe just a bit too much) and be the sassy, silly and wacky person I am, just as Lucy is too.

Be grateful for the good things in your life, even when they seem to be outweighed by the bad.

Night friends ❤

Song Of The Week: “Lost Stars” by Adam Levine

This is one of those songs that gave me very real chills the first time I heard it. I stumbled upon it while listening to Spotify one day. Since then, it still gives me chills each and every time I listen to it. Those songs are rare for me. Songs that allows your mind to find something new from them every time you hear them.

Every time I listen to this song, I feel like I’ve escaped to this new and different land or place. Is anyone else able to relate to that feeling?

  
Adam’s always angelic voice is the first thing that had me hitting repeat on this song, but it’s the following line that truly captured my heart.

Are we all lost stars trying to light up the dark?

This song reminds me that no matter where our journeys may take us, we must always shine our light on this world. That’s why we’re here: to use our light to light up the dark.

That’s why I write about my journey. I never really talked about it with anyone except friends and family until I started this blog. But I wanted to be able to share my experiences and shine my light in the hopes that I may help light up the dark for someone else. Maybe my words can help light the way for someone else who is having a hard time seeing which way to go.

You all are capable of lighting up the dark in your own unique ways. It’s how we use our light that really matters.